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Rollout of Pfizer doses gets underway

Maya Taylor

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The first rollout of the eagerly awaited Pfizer vaccine has kicked off, with doses being distributed first to Bangkok and the surrounding provinces, followed by other high-risk provinces around the country. According to a Bangkok Post report, Opas Karnkawinpong from the Department of Disease Control has confirmed the doses will be given as booster shots to frontline healthcare workers who have already received 2 doses of a Covid-19 vaccine.

It’s understood most of the country’s healthcare workers have been fully inoculated with China’s Sinovac vaccine, but its efficacy against the Delta variant has been called into question. Last Friday, Thailand finally took delivery of its first supply of the Pfizer vaccine, when over 1.5 million doses donated by the US government arrived at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport.

The Bangkok Post reports that of those, 700,000 are reserved for healthcare workers, 645,000 will go to the elderly and people with underlying health conditions, children over the age of 12, and women who are more than 12 weeks pregnant. It’s also reported that 150,000 doses are being reserved for elderly foreign residents and those with underlying health conditions, pregnant women, and Thais who need to travel abroad to study. A further 40,000 doses will be held back in the event of further outbreaks, while 5,000 doses will be kept for research purposes.

In Bangkok, Pfizer distribution is being handled by Ramathibodi Hospital, Siriraj Hospital, and Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital and by local hospitals in the neighbouring provinces of Nonthaburi, Nakhon Pathom, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon, and Pathum Thani.

Meanwhile, PM Prayut Chan-o-cha has dismissed a rumour gaining traction on social media that, following the arrival of the Pfizer doses, 30,000 of them mysteriously disappeared and had already been administered to “VIPs.” The PM says he’s verified the number of doses with the US embassy and there are none missing.

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SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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